Days of my Life #41

Ya know, when I woke up this morning all I could think about was the amazing robot vacuum cleaner that had done an absolutely superb job sucking up all the undesirable crap from my floor. Happy to have such a friendly, efficient little rolling vacuuming machine, I decided to immediately do my morning routine in the bathroom after which I planned to make my regular cup of almost java and tune in to what was happening in the world. Yuck!

Reading the news jarred me into an uncomfortable reality and I was reminded of the following song.

The Merry Minuet

By The Kingston Trio

They’re rioting in Africa

They’re starving in Spain

There’s hurricanes in Florida

And Texas needs rain

The whole world is festering with unhappy souls

The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles

Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch

And I don’t like anybody very much!!

But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud

For man’s been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud

And we know for certain that some lovely day

Someone will set the spark off

And we will all be blown away!!

They’re rioting in Africa

There’s strife in Iran

What nature doesn’t do to us

Will be done by our fellow man

Yes, I had hinted in previous posts that I would do my utmost to not bring up politics, since everyone else has been doing such a bang up job reminding us all how fucked up things are. But when the misogynistic, racist, hate-mongering (I could go on, but why) conman with that fat derrière occupying the now tainted White House is fomenting a second civil war, I figured I might as well pipe up with my, welcome or not, opinion.

I mean really. Here we progressive democrats are, sitting on the edge of our sofas, remotes in hand, locked down, masks, Lysol and sourdough at the ready, Zooming, chatting, tuning in to the news, making us want to go into the streets to yell, “No more fucking murders of innocent people of color, no more gun toting, impotent yokels threatening to take down governors who disagree with them, no more asshat Pennsylvania Republicans quarantining themselves yet spitting their covid-tainted vitriol on Democrats across the aisle, no more homelessness, no more corporate welfare…etc. and no more DT or McC or any of those who choose to inspire hate.

But what the hell will marching in the streets do? The racism rampant in our cities’ police departments will continue to uphold their distortion of the law, until education, empathy and compassion replace it. This week we have seen the continuation of systemic racism, the hatefilled rhetoric of a demented, narcissistic President, the frustrated masses who are fed up with the status quo.

People are so angry, frustrated, afraid and confused, which I believe, by the way has been designed and fostered quite carefully, by some very powerful and inhuman feudal monsters. Those same very horrible persons could give a rats ass about you, me or our family, friends and neighbors. What I believe they want is total dissolution of our right to liberty and justice for all. This is not a theory ..undeniably there truly is a horrid conspiracy against the American people. This may be shocking to some.

That’s gotta change.

This shitstorm of massive proportions has me asking ..Where the hell is “Love thy Neighbor” and the Golden Rule? Must one’s neighbor be of the same skin color or religion or nationality or sexual preference, or for that matter political affiliation in order to give and receive love? Was this just something we were made to memorize for the hell of it? And speaking of hell who do these evil doers think they are to impose their darkness on those of us who choose harmony and light? Do they wish the majority of people to become immune to their nefarious deeds so they can continue to wreak their havoc upon the heart and soul of America? Yep, I think so.

For it is not only the alleged “leaders” with whom we have mistakenly given power but the ill-informed, the stupid, the greedy, the lackeys who choose to continue their support of them. It doesn’t take a Mensa to see how so many have been duped and have dug their moral hole so deep they cannot get out without ripping their sense of humanity to shreds. The astute designers of this abhorrent “con” have been quite upfront about it, So much so that those of us who watch in horror can only shake our heads, bewildered by such evil and yet pondering how to combat this effectively, quickly, and finally to obliterate it once and for all.

This same despicable, malignant scourge, as we who know humanity’s history, has been here, done that, before, more than once. And some of said “never again” and still…it is here, again or rather it has crawled out again. Out damn spot.

Not too many years ago I saw the movie Idiocracy. I was appalled and frightened by the stupidity of the characters. See it if you haven’t yet. I am now more than a little concerned we as a nation may be heading down a similar and but much less comedic path. I worry. Our children and grandchildren may be the “future”, but exactly what are we giving them? Can we possibly give them more than thoughts and prayers?

I am asking myself why am I, a child of the last century, so intent on making better the world when others care not? And while I consider myself damn smart I cannot answer, at least not yet.

I was so pleased to wake up and know that while I slept a tiny robot sucked up the unnecessary debris on the floor of my home. Perhaps tonight, while I dream a more powerful robot will come and vacuum up those who choose hate over love, greed over charity…for they are the unwelcome debris of humanity and those who follow us deserve better.

Tune in.

Days of my Life #38

Stormy Weather

I’ve had that song dittying inside me for the past fifteen minutes.

Could it have been the storm of two nights ago or was it the recollection of my lost love? Nevertheless, today I am full of an unusual melancholy.

It’s crazy, this feeling, since the sky is blue with some cloudiness here and there and the sun is really all warm and the light is perfect, artistically inspiring – with the exception of threatening humidity and weather.com’s prediction of thunderstorms, in general I’m feeling pretty secure that the day, weatherwise, will continue to be okeedokee.

Which brings me to the other choice of my lost love. No, he didn’t go spelunking in a cave and couldn’t find his way out. He also didn’t (to my knowledge) get lost in the arms of another woman (nearly impossible). Nor did he head out around the world in a leaky canoe, or attempt to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Granted, those things would’ve been tough to handle and far more romantic than losing him in 2012 to fucking cancer. But the latter took him away from me and that is that.

And it’s been going on nearly eight years since the dear man went off to explore another plane of existence so I’m not even certain that the sadness I feel has anything to do with him, because this is a newish, weirdo sort of feeling. But what then?

Today I went to the Central Market to pick up what was on my “list” while daughter, grandson and Zappa the pup went off to explore the nearby pond. I donned my mask and approached the pre-sterilized shopping carts all lined up in neat rows as if they were readying themselves for adoption. I whispered to one “would you like to be my vehicle for mass consumption today?” Perhaps it was my imagination but I thought it said, “Yes! But, Do you really wanna take me for a ride?” I didn’t stop to answer because there were now a few people standing by, at the appropriate six feet, who were anxiously awaiting a cart of their very own. I also didn’t look around to note if they might’ve heard our interchange because that might’ve been slightly embarrassing.

Together we rolled up to the hand sanitizer for a couple squirts then into the produce section where I picked up a couple cukes, weighed them, printed the label, then repeated this action with peppers, celery, tomatoes, mangoes, etc., and continued throughout the store, stopping at the dairy, cheese, bakery, and deli sections, picking up probably more impulse items than I had intended, all whilst passing other masked shoppers and staff at a socially appropriate distance, eventually reaching the cashier stand where I loaded my mostly overpriced stash onto the moving belt. All the while I felt as if I were in a strange movie.

Normally, or what used to be a regular occurrence, lo those two or three months ago, I would visit Central Market on a Thursday morning to write postcards to politicians and various movers and shakers to voice either my approval/support/thanks or my words of indignation/anger/reproach, all while visiting with other progressive folk where we would schmooze and support one another during what I thought were the worst of times.

Then after my business of doing “my part” I’d hop downstairs to do some shopping for groceries, many of said delicacies are not found elsewhere in Austin. (Woe is me.) It was a purposeful day. To add to the regularity of it all I would stop at my post office box, occasionally being overjoyed to find a check from heaven knows who. Sigh.

Is my melancholy about the loss of “normal” Thursdays? Or is it something much deeper? I recently promised myself I would no longer write about things like the horrid state of the USA, or he who shall not be named, or our environment, etc. because everyone else is doing such a good, yet depressing job of it. I also made secondary promises that I wouldn’t gross people out with pictures of fluffy kittens or threaten to hold zoom meetings or do something inane like tell stupid jokes in a sort of comedic-relief sit-down on YouTube. So far, at least in several days I’ve held true to these inner vows, though the latter might actually be moderately amusing, for me anyway.

Perhaps these contracts I have made with little ole moi are what is causing my despondency. Time will tell.

Tune in.

Days of my Life #31

I blame it all on a fucking cricket. It’s hiding under our dishwasher, behind the cabinets. It has been rubbing its legs, repeatedly, noisily, infuriatingly, making an infernal racket for over two nights now. All this to attract a mate. Geez, the things one does to get laid. Anyway, now, for these two plus days, I have felt like the walking dead and that is my reason for not writing. Isn’t that a better excuse than my dog ate my homework?

I know I must’ve slept a teensy bit since I opened my eyes and have remembered a tidbit of a dream I think I just had. I was in a law office which led to the backstage of a theater and the wings. I believe I was an actress whose lead role was the mother of a handsome (aren’t they all? No? Well this one was. Sigh.) philanderer. I entered at stage right, walked over deliberately and told my “son” how ashamed I was of his behavior, exited stage left, then got lost outside the building and the rest of the dream spiraled into some other story but all with me trying desperately to return to the stage to deliver my next line. There was always some distraction preventing my ability to find the wings. I guess I got fired. I vaguely remember somehow telling the director I was led the wrong way by a fellow actor, though for all I know I blamed it on the damn cricket…he’s a great scapegoat.

See, even I, a person with relatively excellent intentions, even in my dreams, can blame someone else for my own lack of attention or other foibles. Just imagine those with evil intent. What? You can’t think of at least one? Okay. Okay. I know I can… and I can bet they don’t have crickets messing with their head through the night that can innocently take the blame because they’ve got at least one human who can be their whipping boy/girl/s.

In my brief, though intense study of scapegoats, the type and level of same are relative to the nastiness of those who mete out their punishment. Just for the hell of it, I invite you to briefly follow me along the narrow and winding path through Man’s history of narrow mindedness in making others responsible for their misdeeds, lies and general meaniness!

I introduce you to the eons old ritual of sacrificing an actual goat to signify the casting out of evil and sin, employed by a whole slew of cultures as a means to keep their communities “good” and wealthy, devoid of the negative, avoiding responsibilities or whatever they deemed so. Yep, this silly custom was the go-to by those gosh darn ancient Greeks, Syrians, Christians, Sumerians and you guessed it Jews. Not your group of peeps? Hmmm. Think again. There were many more and varied peoples who, throughout the ages have employed similar practices, but we needn’t go back that far to look.

Have you actually thought we’ve evolved since then? Ha. Nope. Well, maybe we’ve devolved cause we’re no longer killing a poor innocent goat…to atone for our collective sins. From the simple school bully badgering an innocent classmate to murderous ICE thugs sexually accosting dehumanized innocent child refugees.

Are you uncomfortable yet? Now, I invite you to regard further into human history..shall we peek into the famously historical scapegoating of Jews, Armenians, Gypsies, homosexuals etc, in Europe, because most rational thinking, intelligent, humane people know about that and are further abhorred.

Modern scapegoats have included just about every immigrant and refugee group. Are we able to take off our rose colored latest style “Denial Ray-bans” to peer ever so closely at our most recent scapegoats…both individual and groups of people (those who in worst case are victims of severe persecution and genocide).? Come on. Let’s be brave.

I’m not going to go into depth, but I am imagining you’re getting a tad squirmy..so I’ll just close With this thought. As we recoil at the effects of the mutation of a virus, we ought not cast our blame on the Chinese. Are they so obviously to blame? Maybe instead of focusing across the world at the Chinese we could take a look at our factory farms since those places are hotbeds of uncleanliness, disease and overcrowding. A virus knows no culture except perhaps that in a Petri dish.

Our unesteemed “leader” has himself made a practice of pointing his tiny finger at everyone but himself for EVERY issue he chooses not to take responsibility. There have been so many events, he has just about run out of people to blame. Uh oh. I’ve made yet another scapegoat. I wonder if I could send him my cricket.

Tune in.

Days of my Life #28

Have I developed a habit of writing daily? It’s debatable, even though it is about twenty eight days that I started doing this with surprising regularity and that is, more or less the standard for creating a lasting habit. I woke around 2am thinking I might begin this daily expulsion of words from ether to paper, but I futzed around for an hour …obviously avoiding the work then immediately felt the need to go to back to sleep.

Oddly enough, When I awoke at eight I was totally convinced I had indeed written something clever and had even published it. Why? Because my recent habit of writing is now occupying my bloody dreams. Sheesh!

I was absolutely certain I had a subject, had gotten to the root of it, expanded on the gosh darn thing and reached a abfab conclusion…an editor’s dream…but no such luck, it was just my dream. So, now here I am, it’s seven in the evening, and I’ve done next to fuck all today with the exception of feeding the dogs, myself, grandson and daughter, doing a minor repair on the kitchen island, email, an hour of solitaire, talking with my bff who lives in lalaland and keeping my hyper grandson from destroying various animate and inanimate objects. So why in goddesses name am I tired?

I think I’ve got a case of pandemonium and fauxnews fatigue. It is ridiculously tiring thinking about all the stuff to think about. So many variables and sources. How to choose? Does it even matter and why doesn’t Ben and jerry make mocha fudge ice cream anymore? Don’t you often wonder why they, who ever they are, can’t just make electronics that can be repaired using universally available parts? Why can we get the same shoes a year or five later? And…What happened to penny loafers?…they were comfortable, at least to me they were.

It’s blind, mostly inhumane, capitalism, stupid.

Don’t get me wrong, or do, since everything is in the eye of the beholder and a whole lot of people are devoid of 20-20, it’s not just a year. I’m a former fashion whore….really I am…In my youth I even designed clothing for the rich and infamous. I still know how to tweak a design that makes crowds go wild, but at whose expense?

Uh oh, here comes my inner eco warrior, better look out. In recent years as I’ve been creating/transforming refuse/trash into art I have come to realize just what a waste of everything it all is. No, not my art, silly, my art is totally cool….just go to my art site janetbernson.com and you’ll be amazed.

I’m talking about the waste of resources, human life, animal and plant life and nature itself…for what? So a few insecure, nihilistic, feudalistic asshats with so much money and no soul can control the world? I say fuck that. Them too.

The Beatles wrote a little ditty, some of you might remember, “can’t buy me love” was totally true. Yeah, yeah, yeah, sure you can get laid with money, and you can buy fake friends with money and some people may love that you have money …but it ain’t going to buy you love or real friendship or inner peace.

And the “poor” schmucks… And you know who they are, want us all to believe that money or the promise of it is the answer to our woes. Except funnily enough those same perpetrators of the capitalist mystique don’t want you to have enough money to fully pay your bills …housing, food, medical or otherwise. And they could care less if your water is clean enough to drink or if your daughter gets raped or your son (especially if he’s a color other than white) gets offed by an officer of the law. Because there’s a line miles long and around the globe who will take y’all’s place, to keep the money ball rolling.

Do I sound like I want a revolution? Not exactly…certainly not a violent one. And we’re not gonna even go into the people toting around guns because that’s an entirely different bit of writing. I’m kind of thinking that with all of us sitting around baking sourdough bread and planting our gardens, wrangling children and zoom chatting that the revolution won’t need to be televised – it will just be that we’re not gonna go back to the way things were because we’re getting some quality time to develop new habits. I Think the dreaded virus may be affording our world the opportunity to make a mega shift…so that we can actually EVOLVE into caring about each other.

Oh my, I’m sounding like my old hippie self! Whoopee!

Tune in.

Days of my Life #22

It’s another beautiful day. Who could complain with These delightfully sunny skies and gentle breeze. Certainly not I. I’ve been walking fairly regularly, up the hill, along the path, by the creek, as far from thoughts of pandemics and politics as I can muster…even though such thoughts are mostly unavoidable.

I couldn’t walk yesterday, partly because of the air conditioning snafu but also because my poor little toe is swollen from having smashed it the night before. Who would think I’d be bringing up my baby toe and it’s woes in a blog? Me. I guess I think it’s important. Well it is still irritated today – I am hobbling less but unwilling to trek hither and yon, over hill and dale. Guess the mat pilates will have to do.

Why obsess about something as minuscule as a teensy appendage. Because I want to walk on it, silly! For one thing I’ve had over a month to wake up and over think nearly every other part of my body, especially my lungs, heart and schnozola. Have you?

At the onset of the “coronavirus freak out” the thing to do was check your temperature, pop vast amounts of vitamins, do an assortment of breathing exercises, see if you could smell or taste and hide coughs and sneezes in your inner elbow. We progressed to religiously wearing masks and gloves, carrying about multiple bottles of hand sanitizer and keeping six feet apart, some of us even in our homes. Many of us, mandatory lockup or not, have chosen to stay safe, and order our groceries to be picked up two weeks later or have them delivered complete with melted ice cream and bruised bananas.

Our obsession with the state of our individual health is now universal given the fact that we are hearing reports that even the strong and healthy can succumb to the virus…though obviously those who have compromised immune systems are at greater risk. None of this is particularly funny though it has brought out a raft of totally bizarre responses, some of which are unbelievably stupid or downright evil. It’s too bad, here in the formerly United… States, we don’t have universal health care but the shit-for-brains turtle look alike (sorry turtles) senator from the great state of Kentucky, aka Mitch McConnell, doesn’t think people deserve to be well or alive. May the camel (or other animal that spits, you pick) of ten thousand viruses hock a lugie on him, repeatedly, til he gets IT…a bad case of the disease or a good dose of human kindness and social responsibility. Either, the sooner the better.

And then there is our unesteemed “leader”, spouting nonsense at his nightly (oh god, change the channel) news. WTF???Personally the idea of ingesting -orally or intravenously- a disinfectant is fucking loco and DIY embalming. But the craziest aspect is someone even considering it because the douchenozzle in chief suggested it. It is no wonder the rest of the “civilized” world, feels sorry for us. I’m considering a move to Ireland when this is over, even if it is wet and cold, there are few bloody signs to tell you where you’re going, and trees are in short supply. At least there they have better sense! Oh sure they’d take me. I’m half Irish, you see.

Well, well. I was gonna refrain from health and politics had I taken a walk, but since I couldn’t

I got to rambling about both. And now that I’ve reached a stopping place and you are possibly shaking your head or pouring yourself a stiff drink,or both, I’m going to leave you. Side note…are they holding Zoom AA meetings?… cause they oughta.

Tune in.

Days of my Life #19

I took a walk with my friend Carla this morning. We waved to each other as we approached from opposite directions, both of us adorned with our homemade masks and sun hats. Today is going to be in the 90’s but it was a pleasant 70 when we took off toward the creek just down the street and up the hill.

There we meandered along a well-worn meandering path as we listened to the water trickle, the occasional buzz of insects and took pix of the light falling on a zillion shades of green. I had hoped we might see wildlife because we’ve got all sorts like coyotes, raccoons and foxes who venture out at night to munch on unsuspecting prey, some being household cats and teensy dogs. Alas no wildlife unless you consider the giant pit bull being fostered and walked by a kind soul passing by. His name was Darwin, the dog not the human, but we all agreed a more appropriate moniker might’ve been “Flower” or “Daisy” or now that I think of it, “Muffin”.

People are fostering loads of homeless animals right now. I only wonder what will happen with the fosters after we are allowed to go back to work. And speaking of homeless…how can people without shelter, do so in place? What place? UHow many out there have considered adopting an unhoused person…or anyone at risk of losing their abode?

We talked at length about all sorts of stuff as we are oft to do, trying desperately to avoid the unpleasant subject of politics and the “not a doctor douche-weasel” who rarely sits in the oval office. But try as we might the subject turned to his suggestion of injecting Lysol or Clorox to cure Coronavirus which caused us to both simultaneously rant on the absurdity also known in some circles as “Not my President.” One wonders if he might wish to volunteer and be the first test subject? Is that wrong to imagine? It would seem only fitting. I can see the news…millions of zoom gatherings with participants cheering as it is announced that the virus known to his lemmings as “White House Don” has succumbed to his own “medicine”.

We deftly changed the subject again, this time to our Social Security from which the Repulslicans want to steal. It was then I came up with the perfect solution:

All those close to or in retirement should don their masks, gloves, a Handy bottle of sanitizer in a bag, along with a roll of tp, and a spoon, go to their local grocery, purchase a couple cans of beans or dairy products (for those lactose intolerant), head over to the nearest government office (Republican senators/congressperson’s, though the white house will do nicely) eat the contents of digestive distress, thus defecate at entrances and exits, then deposit in the nearest mailbox the used tp in plastic lined envelopes, stamped and addressed to said “representatives.” Perhaps this might doubly get our messages across that we’ve had enough of their shite, plus they can see how it feels to clean up the mess they are making of our former functioning government. They also might think better of robbing us of dollars we earned.

After some devious chuckling We changed the subject to diy raised bed gardens.

All in all it was a healthy morning of walking in nature, shooting the shit, brainstorming about using the shit, and composting shit to grow a garden.

And speaking of gardens…Today I Think I’ll plant some beans…ya never know when they might come in handy.

Tune in.

Days of my Life #16

Breakfast was filling if nothing else; shredded wheat and oat milk with a touch of dark brown sugar and some “why bother” decaf. I have already begun my day by perusing the news and email. Yuck!

Even the travel ads are having the “How can I get excited by armchair excursions?”challenge. Just the other day I received a tantalizing invite to travel to Spain and Portugal with a group of cutting-edge science/history/comparative religion nerds (that may not seem sexy to you- but those peeps and their suggestive haunts really turn me on), only to be cock-blocked by the first page on their website reminding everyone about possibilities of date change/cancellation due to covid. Cold shower time.

Even though I’m guarding myself for another disappointment, I’ve been preparing to rev up for the election with new insoles for my block-canvassing sneakers, extra sunscreen, all-natural insect repellent, “go-blue” hat and my selection of socially responsible tee shirts. I suppose I’ll have to wear something like pants or shorts, that is if we’re not still in lockdown or the slug who would be king declares martial law and usurps our elections. If need be, I can always do bottomless virtual block walking, but that’s TMI!

It’s time like these I wish I’d paid more attention to the crystal ball gazing class I took back in the eighties. Of course if I could’ve foretold the future then I probably would’ve divorced husband #1 sooner, definitely wouldn’t have married husband #2, would’ve moved to the south of France or Barcelona or at the very least, Portland and might’ve taken controlling interest in Amazon to make it a socially responsible company. Oh well, hindsight, but then it is really 2020.

I, like so many others, am finding so much time to reflect, to imagine and then locate the remote or iPad charger. I’ve made a bunch of masks, calls to friends & politicians, signed online petitions and donated to food banks, yet I’m still wondering with all this time on my hands I might do something more worthwhile, like create a “why didn’t someone think of this yet?” cure for cancer or world hunger or homelessness or war or joblessness or global climate change!

I am reminded of the adage “every cloud has a silver lining”. While we don’t have cures for the above specific woes, we have the possibility/opportunity to look at them with new eyes. Years ago, my dear friend and teacher, Aristhaia Cash, goddess rest her soul, said, “Most homes have a front door and a back door and usually a few windows -yet most of us mainly use one door to enter and exit and a favorite window by which to regard our outside world. But what about the other door/s and windows? What view/s are we missing? Do we need a skylight? How is the foundation?” Her wise words have served as a reminder that I’ve gotta look everywhere for answers because the predictable views don’t always have the total picture. Its not even the point of fake news as it is limited news, just who’s paying for it and what is their agenda?

To be a critical thinker one must exercise their skills of investigative discernment. A sort of treasure hunt for real, unabridged truth, which these days is a full time job, given the internet and people who only read headlines then spout off with their minimal information and apparent lack of deep thought.

Am I being hypercritical or just unrealistic in thinking we’ve gotta be better than this? Perhaps, then again I’m reminded at just who is running our state/country/world into the polluted ground.

Oh dear! Now I wanna escape to the land of oohs and aahs where I can be spoon fed deep dark chocolate lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream after having a long and oh so sensuous massage by a geeky, creative, straight hunk who whispers sweet everythings into my ear.

Alas, these sorts of brief fantasies are short lived in these times of virus. I’ve finished the cup of decaf and I’d better go take the dog for a walk.

Tune in.